Hatters striker Danny Hylton knows if his side want to finally press home their claims as serious promotion candidates, then they simply have to beat struggling Hartlepool at Kenilworth Road this evening.
Luton will go into the game as clear favourites against a side who haven’t won on their travels in the league since October 1.
However, the Hatters have been here before, expected to beat Cheltenham at home recently, only to lose 3-2 and waste the chance to make inroads on third place Carlisle, who host leaders Doncaster this tonight.
Speaking about the clash, Hylton said: “If we want to get into the automatic places then, no disrespect to Hartlepool, but it’s a game that we’ll have to win.
“It’s one that we want to win, so if we do that it will put us in good stead for the two big boys.
“That’s what we want to do, we want to beat them on Tuesday, no doubt about it.
If we want to get into the automatic places then, no disrespect to Hartlepool, but it’s a game that we’ll have to win.Danny Hylton
“We don’t want to draw, we don’t want to lose, we want to beat them. It’s a game we believe we can win.
“It’s going to be tough. They’ve got the way they play and they’re going to have their own threat, but it’s one we believe that, if we’re on it, we beat them.”
Luton reduced the gap to third to just three points on Saturday, as they came from a goal down to see off Crawley Town 2-1 at Kenilworth Road.
With Carlisle and Exeter both losing, Hylton admitted the players had been made aware of just what a crucial afternoon it could be for them, and that mixing their approach up for the Red Devils, gave them the best chance of winning.
He continued: “At half time, the gaffer didn’t tell us the results, but he said, without giving too much away, ‘don’t miss this opportunity’.
“He didn’t have to tell us that results were going our way, so it was a little carrot at the end.
“I’m just delighted that we won, delighted that we closed the gap, but we’re still three points away and there is still a lot to play for.
“When we’re losing games, or drawing, we’ve just got to be, not nastier in terms of kicking people and elbowing people, but just getting in people’s faces, running around a little bit more, winning little headers.
“I thought we did that, especially when we went 1-0 down. We needed big characters, big performances and we managed to come back.”
Hylton himself was the match-winner on the afternoon, scoring twice, but felt that personally his own level of performance had been lacking and was quick to praise the impact of first half sub Ollie Palmer.
He said: “We didn’t play well, I didn’t play well, so to not play well and score two is nice.
“The main thing is that we won the game and there are a lot of results that have gone our way, so we’re pleased.
“I didn’t play well, the manager told me I didn’t play well but I scored two, so I’m happy.
“He (Palmer) came on and changed the game for us, I thought. He had that real presence that was another option, we can go direct into him.
“He wins the ball, but he doesn’t just win it, he brings other people into the game and he’s mobile, he’s quick.”
Netting a brace took Hylton up to 17 for the campaign and within three of the 20-goal mark he has never achieved in his professional career to date.
However, the striker insisted that milestone wasn’t on his mind at all, adding: “I don’t want to jinx anything or talk about personal tallies.
“If I don’t score again from now until the end of the season and we go up automatically, then I’ll take that. I’ll just keep trying to do my bit and bring what I can to the team. If I score a few more goals on the way then that’s a bonus.”